Saturday, October 8, 2016

EskieMama Reads Saturday Spotlight w/Giveaway: DEATH: The Horsemen Series by Justine Littleton & Lila Rose

Welcome To EskieMama Reads Saturday Spotlight!
Today we are spotlighting Justine Littleton & Lila Rose's
DEATH (The Horsemen Series)

Enter the Justine's rafflecopter giveaway below for some amazing prizes!

DEATH: The Horsemen Series

Here’s the problem with myths and legends; they're fiction. At one time, they may have been stories of real people, but over time, the story was passed from person to person, so what was once fact, becomes the written fables of those long ago.
This is the true story of Death and the five horsemen.

Quitting her teaching career and working full time on her fledgling editing business, Julie Michaels isn't prepared for the shedload of changes heading her way. To be precise, it’s just one screeching stop on the crazy train away. 

Dean "Death" Apocalos never imagined change would come so swiftly in the form of love, chaos, and Decay. Dean and his three brothers are about to see their worst fear come to light; their forgotten brother and the fifth horseman, Decay.

Previously entombed, someone has let the loon loose on LA. It’s now up to the horsemen to put him back in his box… before he upsets the balance once more.

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Q & A with Justine Littleton about DEATH: The Horsemen Series!

Tell us about Death: The Horsemen Series.
It’s about how the horsemen are not as history would have them seem and meet their mates. The uniting theme is that there is a forgotten Fifth Horsemen, Decay. He was entombed because he was sadly inflicted by his own gift of balance, destroying both his mind and body. Crazed, they locked him away and wiped his story as best they could from all written word. Unfortunately Decay was prepared, creating an order of devout followers to find and release him. Book one starts with the order releasing the loon loose on LA. It’s now up to the horsemen to put him back in his box… before he upsets the balance once more.

What initially inspired you to write Death: The Horsemen Series?
It was a dream, pregnancy dreams are the most bizarre. I wrote it down, put it to the side, but never forgot it.
Basically, I got knocked up with an idea. I was scared, and most likely would not have seen it through without Lila. She took on the role of book baby-daddy. She has taught me so much. With each chapter we wrote the world came together more and more.

Tell us little about the characters in Death: The Horsemen Series.
This book is about Dean meeting his mate, Julie.
Well, that is the easy answer, but it is so much more in the back story of the rest of the horsemen.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I used to say it was the actually WRITING it all down. It’s like a movie in my head and I have to keep hitting pause and write everything down. Now I would say it’s everything AFTER the writing. The editing and publishing process was very hard, but I was lucky to be surrounded by and amazing team that pushed me to do better and produce a book I am damn proud of.
That said I am excited to get back to the writing part.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Definitely chapter ten. Most of the history in the book is factual, just spun to weave into our version of the truth. That is the chapter that will answer so many questions and create so many more.

What are your future project(s)?
This week I am plotting out the chapters to book 2, it has been fun to hear the readers guess which horsemen will find his mate next.
At the moment I am concentrating on the Horsemen, shooting to release one a year just before Halloween. After that we will just have to see.

Now an exciting excerpt from DEATH: The Horsemen Series!



“Holy Christ on a cracker!” I groaned aloud. It was good to finally relax for a while. However, the comment earned me a perturbed look from the crotchety bible-holding lady across the train aisle. “Yes?” I asked. She said nothing, so I went on, “Sorry.” I winced. “But you know I’m not actually cursing. Trust me, I'd know. I teach children. I was merely showing my appreciation for the Lord and his holy image on baked goods.” That earned me an annoyed look, her eyes narrowing even more before she turned away to glance out the window. I simply couldn’t please them all. Besides, I was too far beyond exhausted to care. I adjusted myself in my uncomfortable Metrolink seat, ready for the long trip home. It was already dark outside and my bed was calling to me.
Really, I couldn’t call the teens I taught children, because they were nothing more than overgrown, overprivileged little devil spawn, and with superiority complexes to boot. So no one could really blame me for the outburst. Every morning, Monday through Friday, I was up at 4:30 a.m. to make it into the city by 6:00 a.m. That was when I homeschooled two arrogant teens until 2:00 p.m. From there it was off to the library, where I held a couple of two-hour sessions of SAT tutoring with a lovely group of pampered princes and princesses. I knew they’d much rather be out spending Mommy and Daddy’s money than studying with me. They, of course, reminded me of that fact every week. But alas, at least my misery paid well.
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. The current trend among the filthy rich granola crunchers was to be homeschooled. They preferred the one-on-one teaching and were willing to pay bank for the results worth bragging about. Graduating at twenty-two with a summa cum laude, I’d snagged a lucrative job fresh out of school. With their improved grades and high SAT scores, my students gained several Ivy League scholarships to pick from. I was surprised when the popularity of my teaching skills took off from there. Word of mouth and the kids’ killer results had earned me enough recognition to start landing the big fish. The CEOs, money market managers, and Rockefeller types, who expected their kids to be better than the Joneses’, but in most cases were closer to the Bundys’.
Still, I could see the light because it had paid off my student loans in three years, leaving me the ability to save all except the necessary expenses and put enough away to buy my dream home, an adorable stone cottage with a supercute arched door, a beautiful garden, and evergreen shutters. It was simply something out of the books I’d always loved. Hence, the forty-five-minute train rideevery day. But it was worth it. The weekends were mine and very soon, so would be the weekdays. I’d finally squirreled enough away to take my tiny part-time book editing business to full-time. I was overcome with joy at the thought of never having to placate the snot-nosed brats again, or the horny teens, in just two weeks’ time. All by the age of twenty-eight.
However, my joy was short-lived as the train jerked to a screeching stop.
“What in the furry Fig Newton is going on up there?” I muttered. The other passengers’ frustration grew alongside my own, a mild murmur of complaint starting up. The train had already been twenty minutes late to begin with. It looked like more delays and on a Friday night. The lights flickering above was the only warning before the screams started in the cars ahead of us. Everyone in my carriage was stunned into silence. With my heart in my throat, I fidgeted in my seat in worry.
Facing forward, I jumped as the noise hit a crescendo before fading off, and the door to the car sprang open. Panic itched the back of my neck as in drifted a hooded figure. When it came to a stop, the cowl fell back. Holy Hogwarts! What I was seeing couldn’t be real; it had to be a dream, a very frightful dream. My stomach dropped as I sat stone still and stared at him, mouth gaping wide.
Screams erupted in our carriage, mine joining the chorus. People started to stand, only to sit again in the next second. The compartment once again fell into utter silence. It was in that eerie way you knew something was going to happen, something big, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. None of us were, but we silently waited, too stunned to do anything.
Seriously, my mother had been right. I did read far too much, and because of it, I had lost my goddamned mind. I’d learned a long time ago there was a time and place for cussing, and finally cracking your nut was one of them. Because I wasn’t sure if I should believe what I saw before me or not. It looked like something that was a cross between Voldemort and a character from The Walking Dead. What was possibly once a beautiful man—if the pieces… or chunks were put back on his face, he could be hot—currently had bits of loose-hanging skin and oozing sores covering him. His skin was also a sickly shade of gray. My stomach churned, threatening to bring up the nice sandwich I had for lunch. I didn’t want to keep looking, but my eyes wouldn’t stray from the horrid sight.
His nose had long ago fallen off, leaving a triangle-like shape with two ragged tear-shaped holes to breathe through. But what had me still transfixed in my seat, maybe like everyone else, was his eye. Eye, not eyes. One, singular. The lovely shade of crazy it emitted led me to believe sudden movement would not be wise. He was a hot mess, pun intended.
He was gory, graphic, gut-retching, and was reaching out with his left skeleton-looking hand. The poor, small Latino man, who had chosen that seat, released a small shriek and attempted to slap his hand away.
For one second, one heartbeat, we watched. The silence was deafening, or so I thought. That was until the small man let out a primal and horrific howl of agony. He jumped from his seat and into the laps of the woman and child seated across from him. I brought my feet up onto the seat and wrapped my arms around my knees in fright as I looked on, witnessing the devastation progress from there in a wave, coming even closer. The suffering and horror spread from person to person, their skin separating, oozing puss, and melting away. Screams of terror rocked the carriage because there seemed to be no escape. Whatever sifted through the carriage came closer and closer to my area in the back. I observed what I was sure would be my death with paralyzing fear. I couldn’t understand why we didn’t feel the urge to run, to save ourselves from our looming fate.
Anger boiled inside me at how still I sat, allowing the nightmarish things to happen around me, but what could I actually do?
My stomach churned. My heart was already speeding off on a crazy frantic beat. My breathing was erratic, while my chest rose and fell at a fast pace. It was as though my body realized what was going on and it wanted to run, to escape from the situation.
However, I did nothing. My only other thought was… flowers. The dying smelled of flowers.
I snapped to myself a moment too late. A shriek of fright clogged my throat. I tried to back away as the people around me died, but there was nowhere else to go, except farther down in my seat. I felt the brush of the nearest person taking their last breath, passing in a most painful way, and squeezed my eyes shut to await my fate.
Nothing came.
I opened my eyes as the screams faded to see the nightmare floating down the aisle toward me.
His freaking feet weren’t even touching the ground! I was incapacitated again, this time with dread. The only thing moving rapidly was my chest as it fought my terrified breath into my lungs. He stopped directly in front of me and reached that same bony, emaciated hand out for me this time. Bone glided down my left cheek.
Again, no pain, but I did scream, and as my vision wavered, two things became clear.
One, it was lilies. The flower smell throughout the carriage was lilies, and it had become stronger as he got closer.
And two was Mr. Hot Mess’s parting words. With a smooth, melodic voice, he sent me off with, “Oh, this is going to be glorious fun!”

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EskieMama Reads Saturday Spotlight: The Meanderings of Ruby Stewart by Monia Handy

Welcome to EskieMama Saturday Spotlight!
Today we are spotlighting Monica Handy's 
The Meanderings of Ruby Stewart

If you enjoyed "Bridgette Jones Diary" you will love Ruby Stewart!

Welcome to a quick-witted and humorous introspect of a woman who embraces her flaws and honostly shares her thoughts about her job, observations on life and the man she's loved for two years.   
Kick back, grab some coffee and prepare to laugh with a friend!

Grab YOUR copy TODAY!

Now an exciting excerpt from The Meanderings of Ruby Stewart!
And, just like that, I fell deeper in love with a man I hardly knew.
All day, long I sat at my desk distracted by romantic notions of what could be... The most titillating, however, was that he might secretly find me desirable as well! Was it too much to hope for? Do forty-five year olds become lovers like in The Thomas Crown AffairOr do they merely fantasize at a desk, tucked within a small cubicle?
The latter was less dangerous and far more indulgent. Therefore I let my mind comb through the particulars of his physical assets.
He had beautiful eyes and a mouth that slightly pursed when weighing a heavy situation. He was tall, about six-four or five, and a bit on the slender side for my taste, but when he put his hands in those tailored pockets one could make out the shape the of his firm, curved bottom. What outweighed his physical attributes was his ability to maintain the perfect amount of gentleness and decency in this corporate grinder. His tone with me was the same as it was with Isabella. ...Now that was an admirable quality. ...One that led me to believe that he was the type of man who couldn’t be swayed easily, who weighed matters according to depth, notappearance. ...A man who could be satisfied with.

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Blog Tour: In the Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold

In the Line of Duty banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for In the Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold. In the Line of Duty is the 7th book in the Detective Madison Knight series, but it can be read as standalone.
This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 3 till 9 October, you can view the tour schedule here

In the Line of DutyIn the Line of Duty (Detective Madison Knight series #7)
by Carolyn Arnold
Genre: Mystery, police procedural
Age category: Adult
Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.
Length: 292 pages
Release Date: September 29, 2016

He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?

It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

When news of Weir’s murder reaches the department, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most.

With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.

You can find In the Line of Duty on Goodreads

You can buy In the Line of Duty here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- Google Play
- iTunes


Have you ever been on a manhunt or at the scene where a dead body was found?

I took part in my local police department’s Citizen’s Academy. As part of this, I received an inside look at seventeen divisions over a ten-week period. As an added benefit, each student was afforded a ride-along. And mine… Well, I went on the perfect one for a crime writer.

My ride-along actually started out with a manhunt. I experienced the excitement of wanting to find the guy and found myself scrutinizing every male I spotted in the area just to make sure he wasn’t the one we were after. Unfortunately, the search moved to the downtown area from the eastern end of the city where the hunt had begun, and the sergeant signed off the investigation. By the end of my ride-along, about five hours later, the man still hadn’t been found.

After the sergeant left the investigation, he turned to me as he was driving and asked if I had ever seen a dead body. I told him I had at memorials and funerals and then asked why. I soon found out that our next stop involved one.

I figured I’d catch a glimpse of the deceased under a tarp or being wheeled away, but I got far more than that. I received a front-row seat to a death investigation. For hours, the sergeant and I were mere feet away from the body. I witnessed firsthand how it changed color over time, but I also found that I went into detective-mode. The forensic identification unit—essentially CSIs—was called in and arrived with collection kits. The team members gloved up, snapped photographs, took fingerprints from the deceased, and more.

The entire time that I was on scene, I noticed myself going into a detached state—the result of adrenaline. Later that evening, it began to sink in that I had spent hours with a dead body, and I was nauseated. As more time passed, I became weepy as it sank in that the deceased had been a husband, a father, a lover, a friend…a person. That night I dreamed about the man. It wasn’t a nightmare, but I was an officer trying to figure out what had happened to him.

I couldn’t imagine returning to the field the next day and having a similar experience or witnessing something even worse, like a violent murder scene or that of a fatal car accident.

What do members of law enforcement say about how you portray the police?

Many testimonials attest that I am pleasing readers in law enforcement. They love that my mysteries are accurate in that regard, and they view that alone as a sign of my respect for them.

One female deputy from Oklahoma wrote in to tell me that she feels like I based Madison Knight on her: “The way Carolyn wrote Madison describes me and the way I work and even my personal life to a T. I have never felt more connected to a character. Thank you for creating something so real.”

Expanding on this deputy’s feedback, other law enforcement officers have also commented on the fact that I show the human side of policing in my books just as accurately as I depict the procedure. A retired patrolman from Illinois said, “I found Eleven to be very [life-like] and exciting. It showed that officers—even the FBI—have personal issues or problems that can interfere with their thinking on the job. Also it was presented so [realistically] that I almost felt like I was an officer in the case…”

In regards to In the Line of Duty, an ERT training officer, stated, “Carolyn Arnold’s love for law enforcement and providing an accurate depiction of [the] job is clearly evident in her writing. She is eager to have police procedures spot on, both in tactics and investigationsYou experience the emotions, distractions, frustrations, and successes of the characters in every chapter of In the Line of Duty. I found her heartfelt details to be spot on with a line-of-duty death. Being able to put such a tragic situation into words is difficult in itself, but she does it with compassion, knowledge, and respect for those in uniform who know what it is like to lose a brother or sister in blue.”

What did you do before you became a bestselling author?

For a living, I worked in accounts receivable for a few different companies collecting from businesses. Yet, despite working full time, in 2006 I was reunited with writing. I wrote every chance I got—before work, on lunch breaks, after work, on the weekends. I became so focused on writing and the publishing world that hardly a day went by without them being a part of my life, and since the summer of 2014, I’ve been a full-time author.

How are your four series different from one another?

I offer my readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Let me tell you a little about them:

The Brandon Fisher FBI series follows a rookie FBI agent and a team of profilers with the Behavioral Analysis Unit as they hunt serial killers.

The Detective Madison Knight series has readers teaming up with a hard-boiled female detective and her partner as they search for justice for murder victims.

McKinley Mysteries will have readers sleuthing around with a murder-solving duo, Sean and Sara McKinley, as they do whatever it takes to unravel each mystery while romancing it up along the way.

The Matthew Connor Adventure series puts a modern-day spin on the action-adventure genre. These books are designed for mystery lovers, and readers will have to strap themselves in for adventures with archaeologist and treasure hunter Matthew Connor and his two closest friends.

How do you know so much about what criminals think?

I can’t answer that without incriminating myself Just kidding.

Everyone has what we call a “dark side.” In writing these books, I suppose you could say I tap into this side of my psyche. Whatever I can scheme up is possible, and I write that which scares and excites me.  

When did you know that you had hit the big time with your books?

When I got to say good-bye to my day job! Even before I fully resigned, I had cut back a five-day a week job to four days, then to three. It got to the point, though, that I loathed going in for that many days, and I knew it was time to make the move and become a full-time author. That was in the summer of 2014. Since then, I incorporated my own publishing company in the summer of 2015, and, at the start of 2016, my husband joined me there full time.

Excerpt from Chapter 3:

In the hallway, Troy leaned against a wall and waited as the ringtone drilled into his ear.

Answer the damn phone…

“You’ve reached the voice mail for Chief Fletcher…”

He hung up and redialed. She should be back from her vacation by now. What time had she said her flight was getting in?

Someone picked up on the other end of the line. “Chief Fletcher here.” She sounded groggy, as if he’d woken her up.

“Where are you?” he rushed out.

“Hotel near the airport. We just got in. What’s going on?”

“Something has happened.” The words came out soft-spoken and dry.

“That doesn’t sound good.” He could imagine his sister sitting up in bed and turning on the light on her night table.

“It’s Barry…” His throat constricted. This would be his first time verbalizing what had happened.

His sister’s voice was gentle and caring. “What about Barry?”

“He’s dead.” He delivered the news directly, unable to water it down no matter how much it hurt.

“What? How?” she asked, her tone switching quickly to one of shock.

“He was shot this morning while on duty.” He got through telling her the basics, the facts draining so much from him.

“Wake up, Robert,” his sister said distantly. He heard his brother-in-law moan in the background.

“We’re leaving now. I’ll be in as soon as possible. Has there been a briefing yet?”

“In ten minutes.”

“Has the shooter been caught?”

At his sister’s question, his insides pulsed with adrenaline and determination. No matter what it took from him, he would find Barry’s killer.

“Troy? Has the shooter been caught?” she repeated, a subtle beep in the background of the line.

“Not yet.”

Another beep. “Someone’s calling. I better let you go.” Her voice was withdrawn, and Troy imagined her pulling her phone out to consult the caller ID. “It’s Winston. See you soon.” His sister hung up before he could say anything else. He put his phone away, the ache in his chest now almost unbearable.

Series Information- about the Detective Madison Knight Series
Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).

The Detective Madison Knight Series In the Line of Duty

Carolyn ArnoldAbout the Author:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at

You can find and contact Carolyn here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Newsletter